The prelims of Timothy Bradley vs Diego Chaves, which aired via TopRank.TV stream, was full of entertaining fights, featuring a number of hot prospects and talented veterans all testing one another to make for a satisfying mix of thrilling knockouts and exciting decisions. Get the full preliminary results below.
Mikael Zewski defeats Jeremy Bryan by Majority Decision (97-95 x 2, 95-95)
Jeremy Bryan (17-5, 7 KO) gave top prospect Mikael Zewski (26-0, 20 KO) more trouble than the Canadian seemed to expect. Bryan, a short-notice replacement, was clearly brought in to lose, but didn't roll over. In his last fight he took Sadam Ali to a split decision, and having seen the true extent of Ali's capabilities in his recent knockout win of Luis Carlos Abregu, that says a lot about Bryan's skills. Bryan himself wasn't content to let his resume do the talking, and used a sharp jab and tricky left hook to cut and batter Zewski's right eye throughout the beginning stages of the fight. Zewski pulled ahead through the middle rounds, but Bryan increased his volume in the last three stanzas and put the favored fighter through the ringer with his jab and combination punching.
Ultimately, Zewski won a justifiably close majority decision. Certainly a credible performance from Bryan, and a hard-fought win for Zewski, who remains undefeated.
Jose Ramirez defeats Antonio Arellano by TKO (referee stoppage) at 2:50 of Round 6
An even hotter prospect stepped up to the plate next, as undefeated Jose Ramirez (12-0, 9 KO) battled Antonio Arellano (7-2-1, 3 KO). Arellano played the part of opponent a little more convincingly than Bryan, but he was nonetheless in it to win it, and he connected with some solid counters before succumbing to Ramirez's body work. Ultimately the fight came down to firepower, and there aren't many in the world at 140 pounds who can match Ramirez's devastating left hook, which recalls that of his Wild Card stablemate Miguel Cotto.
Arellano came close to finishing before referee Pat Russell made the decision to stop the fight as Ramirez really poured it on late in the sixth round. Arellano may have wanted to see the final bell, but he was very close to going, and Russell made the right call, saving him from unnecessary punishment in a fight that he was certainly not going to win. Ramirez improves to 13-0 with 10 victories by (T)KO, and continues to impress.
Denis Shafikov defeats Miguel Angel Mendoza by Unanimous Decision (79-73 x 3)
Denis Shafikov (34-1-1, 19 KO) and Miguel Angel Mendoza (21-4-2, 21 KO) were up next. Coming into this bout, Mendoza had never won a bout without knocking his opponent out, while Shafikov was one fight removed from his only loss, a unanimous decision against the very crafty Miguel Vasquez, who was the IBF lightweight champion at the time (and probably should still be).
It was set to be a classic case of boxer-puncher vs puncher-puncher, but both fighters were crafty enough to blur the lines between those archetypes, with Shafikov proving unafraid to brawl, and Mendoza displaying some very clever defensive skills. Shafikov's tremendous volume and footwork were the deciding factors, and he cut Mendoza up en route to a very well-deserved decision win.
I missed the first two fights of the preliminary card, but the results are listed below.
Egidijus Kavaliauskas defeats Jaime Herrera by KO in Round 2
Sean Monaghan defeats Daniel Regi by TKO in Round 3